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International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences

January 2014, Vol. 4, No. 1

ISSN: 2222-6990

Exploring Educational Administration: The Relationship

between Leadership and Management

Masitah Shahrill
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Education, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Tungku Link
Road, Gadong, BE 1410, Brunei Darussalam

DOI: 10.6007/IJARBSS/v4-i1/557 URL:

There have been many on-going debates on the agreement to the meaning of administration,
leadership and management. This paper explores the distinctions between educational
administration, educational leadership and educational management and what are entailed in
terms of their differences and similarities in nature.

Keywords: Educational Administration, Educational Leadership, Educational Management.


“Leaders are truly of this world and simultaneously apart. They are temporal and ephemeral
beings. Their personal and professional relationships are so close, yet so far away” (Sullivan,
2004, p. 19).

“…inspiring hope is the first and last responsibility of the educational leader” (Walker, 2005, p.

How does one distinguish between educational administration, educational leadership and
educational management? Obviously, the response to this question will be by investigating
what past researchers in these educational fields say about each of these terms. In almost all of
the books or articles the author has cited there have been debates on the agreement to the
meaning of administration, leadership and management. Nevertheless, Cunningham and
Cordeiro (2006) stated that agreement was reached in defining administration as the broadest
term related to organisational responsibility, leadership focused on organisational direction and
purpose, and management, on the other hand focused on the efficient use of resources.
Furthermore, leadership is about doing the right things, management is doing things right, and
administration is responsible for both leadership and management. Administrators carry the
biggest burden because they are expected to be effective leaders and efficient managers.

In this paper, the author will investigate firstly the definition of educational administration and
the essence within this area. In the next section the author will provide past researchers’
explanations on the use of each of the educational terms. The third section however, deals with
IJARBSS – Impact Factor: 0.305 (Allocated by Global Impact Factor, Australia)
International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
January 2014, Vol. 4, No. 1
ISSN: 2222-6990

the task of finding a connection or relationship by specifically focusing only on educational

leadership and educational management. With regards to reporting on educational leadership
effects, the fourth section will involve exploring these effects in Brunei Darussalam (hereafter,
Brunei). The fifth section focuses on the heart of the paper in which answers to the following
questions will hopefully be reached; how does educational leadership matter? To whom does it
matter most? What means do leaders take in order to achieve successful educational
leadership? Finally, an overall summary of the paper will be given in the conclusion section.

Exploring Educational Administration

This section does not intend to investigate the theoretical approaches made by Evers and
Lakomski’s (1996) from their second book entitled “Exploring educational administration”.
However, what the author intend to do here is to explore her understanding of; first and
foremost, what is educational administration and what does it entail?

Sergiovanni, Burlingame, Coombs and Thurston (1980) firstly defined administration as the
process of working with and through others in order to accomplish organisational goals
efficiently. Furthermore, they viewed administrators as those who are responsible for
accomplishing certain objectives efficiently. Subsequently, Sergiovanni et al. (1980) viewed
administration as the art and science of getting things done efficiently.

Secondly, in terms of educational administration, in the United States, according to Sergiovanni

et al. (1980), “The governance and administration of education is a good example of the nature
and importance of administrative activity in our society” (p. 4). In addition, the educational
establishment ranks among the largest of public and private enterprises. Thus, educational
administrators from all levels, from superintendents to chairpersons, take their roles seriously
in order to build quality education.

In Figure 1 below, Sergiovanni et al. (1980) provided three critical aspects entailed within the
job of educational administrators.

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International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
January 2014, Vol. 4, No. 1
ISSN: 2222-6990

The job of educational administrators

(1) Critical administrative (2) Critical (3) Critical

responsibility areas administrative administrative
processes skills
- Goal attainment
- Planning - Technical
- Maintaining the school’s cultural
- Organising - Human
- Leading - Conceptual
- Internal maintenance
- Controlling
- Adapting to external environments
Figure 1: The three critical aspects of educational administrators

According to Cunningham and Cordeiro (2006), the study of administration is grounded in

science and philosophy and, in theories and ethics. Those who have an interest in educational
administration consider it to be crucial for administrators to understand and develop belief
systems and philosophies for their practice (Barnett, 1991, as cited in Cunningham & Cordeiro,
2006). Thus, a person’s epistemology; that is, the way a person thinks, determines reality and
the way that person approaches work, is critically important.

There are seven factors (functions, skills, ethics, structure, operational areas, context, and
issues) which can be conceptualised in the synthesis of knowledge in educational
administration (Cunningham & Cordeiro, 2006). Table 1 below was taken from Table 1.2 of
Cunningham and Cordeiro (2006, p. 26) that represents a comprehensive model of the
complexity of educational administration in the United States. Furthermore, by taking the
factors into consideration, they stated:
Even though in practice factors cannot be separated, it is probably best to focus on
and integrate one factor at a time. Each leads to some truth, but none by itself affords
an adequate understanding. Together they provide a more complete understanding of
educational administration. (Cunningham & Cordeiro, 2006, p. 25).

In a section by Robert Donmoyer (in Cunningham and Cordeiro’s book) entitled “The knowledge
base in educational administration: A postmodernist perspective”, he stated that during the
past 100 years, the search for a scientific knowledge base for educational administration field
has undergone various forms. As an example, Donmoyer cited Elwood P. Cubberly’s (who often
has been called the father of the educational administration field) work in 1909, “Our schools
are, in a sense, factories in which the raw products (children) are to be shaped and fashioned

IJARBSS – Impact Factor: 0.305 (Allocated by Global Impact Factor, Australia)
International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
January 2014, Vol. 4, No. 1
ISSN: 2222-6990

into the products to meet the various demands of life” (Cubberly, 1909, p. 383, as cited in
Cunningham & Cordeiro, 2006, p. 27).

IJARBSS – Impact Factor: 0.305 (Allocated by Global Impact Factor, Australia)
International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
January 2014, Vol. 4, No. 1
ISSN: 2222-6990

Table 1: Key factors in effective administration, from Cunningham and Cordeiro (2006, p. 26)

Administrative Ethical Structure and Operational

Skills Context Issues
Functions* Standards Organisation Areas

 Plan  Leadership  Honesty  President  Finance  Community  Safe schools

 Organise  Problem  Integrity  U.S. Department  Curriculum and  Taxpayers  Multiculturalism
analysis of Education instruction
 Actuate/  Decision  Promise  Secretary of  Human  Special interest  Inclusion
direct making keeping Education resource groups
 Coordinate  Implementing  Loyalty/  Governors  Research and  Teachers/parents/  Technology
fidelity development kids

 Control/  Delegation  Fairness  State school  Business and  Chamber of  Synchronous and
evaluate boards logistics commerce asynchronous learning

 Supervising and  Concern for  State  Physical plant  College  Standardised testing
motivating others superintendents professors/ (high stakes testing)

 Interpersonal  Respect for  State  Pupil personnel  Media/TV  Assessment

sensitivity others departments of
 Oral  Law-abiding/  Local school  City council  Vouchers
communication civic duty boards

 Written  Pursuit of  Superintendents  Religious  Charter schools

communication excellence organisations
 Research  Personal  Central  Private business  School choice
measurement accountabilit administrators
evaluation y
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International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
January 2014, Vol. 4, No. 1
ISSN: 2222-6990

 Legal, policy,  Principals  Professional  Constructivist

and political associations curriculum
 Public relations  Teachers  Textbook  Global education
 Technology  PTA  Industry  Environmentalism

 Social  Government  Alternative certification

 International  Best practices

 Technologists  Comprehensive school
 Preschool education

 Childhood obesity

 Differentiated
* Henri Fayole (1949, as cited in Cunningham & Cordeiro, 2006).

IJARBSS – Impact Factor: 0.305 (Allocated by Global Impact Factor, Australia)
International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
January 2014, Vol. 4, No. 1
ISSN: 2222-6990

Educational Administration, Leadership and Management

It is undeniably difficult, confusing and frustrating when some researchers use several terms
(for example educational administration, leadership and management) to focus on one
terminology while others use terms such as educational leadership with educational
management or educational leadership with educational administration interchangeably.
Hence, the focus of this section is to explain how and what researchers say about each of the
term above and their justification of using the terms in their books or research papers.

Sergiovanni et al. (1980) focused in detail the leadership aspects of educational administration
and contrasting it with good management. Sergiovanni and his colleagues acknowledged the
importance of educational leadership and the relationship it has to administration. They also
stated that (during their decade), educational administrators were increasingly portrayed as
managers. However, even though management roles were regarded as critically important, it is
not central. In fact, it existed only to support and complement educational leadership roles. The
following is a summary of Sergiovanni et al.’s (1980) explanations with regards to educational
administration, leadership and management:
1. From a management perspective, educational administrators are viewed as professional
2. Administration has been defined (in its management sense) as the art and science of
achieving organisational objectives in a way which is cost-effective, thus, obtaining a
sufficient satisfaction from the teachers and consumers in order to achieve their
continued participation and support;
3. By contrast, educational leadership has a more expansive concept which included
concern for the worth of objectives and their impact on school and society;
4. Professional administration suggests a utilitarian quality (i.e., what are the best means
to achieve given ends);
5. Educational leadership suggests a normative quality (i.e., how adequate are the ends
6. Professional administrator is likely to view his/her role as someone who finds out what
consumers want from the schools and who delivers educational services accordingly;
7. By contrast, the educational leader is very much concerned with the issues of purpose
and direction. (p. 17).

The fundamental assumption that underlies within Sergiovanni et al.’s (1980) book was that
“managerial and political roles, no matter how important they seem to the success of
educational administration, must be judged on the basis of how they serve educational
leadership aspirations of administration” (Sergiovanni et al., 1980, p. 21). In sum, Sergiovanni
and colleagues made clear distinctions between administrative, leadership and management
roles and they also regarded educational administration as an emerging profession during their

IJARBSS – Impact Factor: 0.305 (Allocated by Global Impact Factor, Australia)
International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
January 2014, Vol. 4, No. 1
ISSN: 2222-6990

In Bolam’s (1999) paper, he stressed the fact that the three terms (i.e., educational
management, leadership and administration) are commonly used and that the differences
between the terms are far from clear, in addition still less agreed. The definitions and
explanations (listed below), have been given by Bolam (1999):
1. The term educational administration was used (in his paper) in a broad, generic sense in
order to cover educational policy, leadership and management activities at all levels;
2. Educational leadership was seen to have at its core the responsibility for policy
formulation and (where appropriate), organisational transformation;
3. Educational management was taken to refer to an executive function for carrying out
agreed policy;
4. The assumption that leaders normally have some management responsibilities;
5. The assumption that both leaders and managers must take due account of their
governing body and wider context; and
6. Educational administration has been regarded as a field of study that does not depend
solely on one discipline; rather, it draws upon several forms of knowledge (e.g.
economic, general management studies, education and training and andragogy) and a
range of disciplines (mainly, but not exclusively in the social sciences, e.g. sociology,
political science, philosophy, history, law and psychology). (p. 194).

Bolam (1999) raised the issue in view of the fundamental purposes of study and research in
educational administration by suggesting that future research in educational administration
should relate to both ‘knowledge for understanding’ (or basic) and ‘knowledge for action’ (or
applied) projects. The aim of the first project is to understand the nature and processes of
educational administration, through theory building and basic research. Subsequently, in order
to promote the improvement surrounding educational administration, the aim of the second
project therefore is to inform policy-makers and practitioners about the nature, processes and
effectiveness of educational administration. Overall, Bolam (1999) has deliberately adopted a
limited and restricted definition of educational leadership and management, furthermore
locating it firmly as a sub-set of educational administration.

In contrast to Stein and Spillane’s (2003) research paper on teaching and educational
administration, they have used the terms educational administration and educational
leadership interchangeably. There were no explanation or reasoning as to why they did this.

More recent researchers such as Cunningham and Cordeiro (2006), Farahbakhsh (2006) and,
Giancola and Hutchison (2005) acknowledged the fact that educational leadership has been by
far the most studied aspect of administrative behaviour, as well as it being closely related to
school establishment.

The concept given by Giancola and Hutchison (2005) on educational leadership was that
teachers, principals and board office administrators must apply this form of leadership in many
ways. They further stated:

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International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
January 2014, Vol. 4, No. 1
ISSN: 2222-6990

By equating educational leadership with only administrative roles and no others

(Maxcy, 1991), we severely limit our conceptions of leadership and empowerment.
The ongoing professional development of teachers and principals should be directly
tied to new leadership roles and responsibilities. (Giancola & Hutchison, 2005, p. 39-

Similarly, Farahbakhsh (2006) shared this view and noted that there used to be a traditional
distinction on the dual roles principals had (i.e., as an educator and an administrator). However,
this may no longer exist as principals are nowadays classified as leaders. Since a principal holds
the highest position in a school, it is expected of him/her to act as a leader in his/her school.
The leadership behaviour and personality of the principal influences the quality of the school in
general and consequently, may have a direct or an indirect effect to the school itself. Moreover,
Farahbakhsh (2006) stated the fact that a school principal’s leadership behaviour does have a
subtle influence on the progress of a school.

The following is a description on educational leadership given by The National Policy Board for
Educational Administration (Matthews, 1994, as cited in Cunningham & Cordeiro, 2006):
1. Giving purpose and direction for individual and group processes;
2. Shaping a school culture and values;
3. Facilitating the development of a strategic plan and vision for the school;
4. Formulating goals and planning change efforts with staff; and
5. Setting priorities for the school in the context of community and district priorities and
student and staff needs. (p. 155)

At the beginning of this section, the author mentioned about the dilemma faced about the
usage and understanding of the three educational terms. However, Davies (2005) has shed
some light (at least, for the author) as to why do researchers use these terms interchangeably.
The book (edited by Davies) consists of major leadership themes exploring the contemporary
nature of school leadership. Contributors of the book were from leading authorities (experts
from the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia) in the leadership field. The following comment
from Davies (2005) made sense to the author:
The authors all have a common usage of the term ‘leadership’ but those from the USA
and Canada tend to use ‘administration’ whereas those from the UK and Australia use
‘management’ for the more functional tasks. I believe all the material in the book is
applicable in each of these settings and beyond. (Davies, 2005, p. 1).

The Relationship between Educational Leadership and Educational Management

According to the website from regarding the definitions and the relationship
between leadership and management, it stated that the idea of leadership is closely linked to
the idea of management. Furthermore, the two can be regarded as synonymous. Nevertheless,
a clear distinction between leadership and management may prove to be useful as it allows a
reciprocal relationship between the two. For example, an effective leader should demonstrate
management skills, and an effective manager should possess leadership skills.

IJARBSS – Impact Factor: 0.305 (Allocated by Global Impact Factor, Australia)
International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
January 2014, Vol. 4, No. 1
ISSN: 2222-6990

The above statement contradicts Davies’s (2005) comments in which he said leadership is often
distinguished from management. Additionally, Davies (2005) stated:
Leadership is about direction-setting and inspiring others to make the journey to a new
and improved state for the school. Management is concerned with efficiently
operating in the current set of circumstances and planning in the shorter term for the
school. Leadership is not the provenance of one individual but a group of people, who
provide leadership in the school and, by doing so, provide support and inspiration to
others to achieve the best for the children in their care. Leadership is not set in
isolation but is set in the context of organisations and the wider society. (Davies, 2005,
p. 2).

As seen from the previous section, some researchers used the term ‘educational leadership’
more often compared to the use of the terms ‘educational administration’ and ‘educational
management’. To the author, it shows that some researchers regarded educational leadership
highly in contrast to educational management. The way the author sees it is that school leaders
sounds much better than school managers. Furthermore, nowadays, the term leadership is
taking its place in almost everyone’s everyday vocabulary. This does not put aside the fact that
educational leadership do require good management, but good management itself is not
sufficient (Sergiovanni et al., 1980). Consequently, Hallinger and Heck (1999) stated, “…since
1980 leadership became a newly influential domain of educational management despite the
fact that the empirical knowledge base was mired in a sea of ambiguity” (p. 178). Dimmock and
Walker (2005) even stated that a substantial part of the theory in educational leadership and
management was derived from business management, and there has been evidence of loss in
transposing business management and leadership to education.

In the next section, the author will explore the development effects of educational leadership
course offered at a university in Brunei Darussalam. It is worth mentioning here that the author
will only report what Sullivan (2003, 2004) has written. This is because the author did not
experience the reported leadership effects personally.

The Development of Educational Leadership in Brunei Darussalam

Universiti Brunei Darussalam (henceforth, called UBD) offers graduate studies in a range of
educational fields including educational management and educational leadership courses at the
masters and doctoral levels (Sullivan, 2003). As mentioned by Sullivan (2004), the ultimate goal
of the programme is to develop an effective way of managing and leading others toward ways
of caring deeply about educational outcomes.

A course in particular, entitled “PF 5407 Introduction to Leadership in Education” has shown
significant benefits for the graduate students. This course was designed for headteachers
committed to improving the quality of life in their communities and in the nation through
effective school community engagement. This course demonstrated the implications of being a
leader on the one hand and a manager on the other. Additionally, providing the opportunities

IJARBSS – Impact Factor: 0.305 (Allocated by Global Impact Factor, Australia)
International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
January 2014, Vol. 4, No. 1
ISSN: 2222-6990

for its participants to act out the character, behaviour and personality aspects of their leader
image, thus, enabling them to reflect and align their understandings with the current
educational context.

According to Sullivan (2004), during the course, the participants will encounter experience,
simulation and reflection based on a selection of topics such as Leader variables (Trait,
Behavioural, Characteristics of followers; Situational factors; Contingency theory; Leader style)
and Leadership principles (Raising morale; Decision-making; Team concept) to name a few.
Attendance to weekly lectures and becoming actively involved in critical discussions each week
were essential. In addition, participants were also expected to take part in a 3-day reflective
leader training experience. In order to ensure the involvement of the whole group in the
reflective workshop and leadership challenge weekend, this practical component was made

The reflective workshop involved more than half a day journey to the Kuala Belalong Field
Studies Centre in the Temburong District in Brunei Darussalam. The centre is part of UBD and is
used for biological research and retreats or reflective type workshops. It is located in the heart
of a primary tropical rainforest in Borneo. The following is a summarised version of Sullivan’s
(2004, p. 18) description of the workshop’s four aims:
1. To observe and discuss various leadership practices, called the observing theory in
2. To participate in specific leader training exercises to improve group dynamics by giving
each participant an opportunity to take the leader position in the group, and to solve
and role play management problems and scenarios;
3. To give participants peaceful reflective time away from their normal city lives; and
4. To develop a professional group bond amongst other postgraduate students in the same

During the workshop, participants were required to report on their reflective leader training
experience by keeping a diary. The reflective diary was intended to give the participants the
opportunity to reflect on their practice in terms of the ideas and theories discussed in the
course, thus, enabling them to grow from their personal and group experience. The act of
record keeping their personal reflections was a strategy devised by the course coordinator in
order to help participants reach deeper levels of understanding as the 3 day workshop
progressed. It was intended that each documented reflection could then be expanded upon
with further reflections. By doing so, it will generate deeper levels of learning and more
accurate reflective leadership understandings.

The reflective diary of the participants proved to be very successful as the results showed
participants used their knowledge of concepts in leadership theory to explain their specific skills
or practices as a leader. Furthermore, Sullivan (2004) wrote:
For each skill or practice, they gave examples in context and evaluated their emotions
at the time. They also stated their personally held values and beliefs as a leader and

IJARBSS – Impact Factor: 0.305 (Allocated by Global Impact Factor, Australia)
International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
January 2014, Vol. 4, No. 1
ISSN: 2222-6990

described how they thought others saw them as a leader throughout their three-day
experience. This exercise helped them to be aware of their leader image and how their
image is reflected in their leadership style and practice. (Sullivan, 2004, p. 20).

As stated by Sullivan (2004), the 3 day challenge and workshop resulted with a significant
growth and observable behaviour change for each participant. Participants became more aware
of this and began emulating effective leader character traits, behaviours and personalities.
Additionally, for these city dwellers, the reflective leader training experience itinerary was a
journey of mind of body.

Does Educational Leadership Matter?

It has been acknowledged that there has been a massive, worldwide resurgence of interest in
leadership in the last two decades (Gronn, 2003). Along with the vast emergence of the
leadership industry, numerous universities faculties also took part in frantically renaming their
courses and subjects with ‘leadership’ in preference to ‘management’ or ‘administration’. In
Gronn’s (2003) paper, he cited several researchers who contradicted the relevance of
leadership; however, one researcher in particular (i.e., Mintzberg, 1982, as cited in Gronn,
2003) believed that leadership does matter.

According to M. Christine DeVita, President of ‘The Wallace Foundation’ in Leithwood, Louis,

Anderson and Wahlstrom (2004), effective education leadership makes a difference in
improving learning. Moreover, leadership not only matters, it also ranked second after teaching
or classroom instruction among all school-related factors in its impact on student learning. She
also raised one of the most important questions, ‘How do high-quality leaders achieve this
impact?’ The answer provided consists of three sets of practices which make up the basic core
of successful leadership practices, i.e., setting directions, developing people and redesigning
the organisation. The following is a direct quote from DeVita’s response to the question she
By setting directions – charting a clear course that everyone understands, establishing
high expectations and using data to track progress and performance.

By developing people – providing teachers and others in the system with the necessary
support and training to succeed.

And by making the organization work – ensuring that the entire range of conditions
and incentives in districts and schools fully supports rather than inhibits teaching and
learning. (Leithwood et al., 2004, p. 3).

What means do leaders take in order to achieve successful educational leadership?

Interestingly, Walker (2005) suggested that educational leaders should be encouraged to foster
the vital task of inspiring hope and confidence to students, staff, educators, and members of
communities. Furthermore, hope, learning, leadership go together. Walker (2005) believed that
educational leadership needed “what Martin Buber called ‘an eschatology’ or an unbounded

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International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
January 2014, Vol. 4, No. 1
ISSN: 2222-6990

view of the future realization of what we most hope for as a community” (p. 9). Finally, past
researches have also indicated that hope-generating leadership generated positive images and
actions towards the success of achieving personal and collective endeavours, goals, and
aspirations (Walker, 2005).

In this paper, the author have explored educational administration, educational leadership and
educational management, in terms of their differences and similarities nature. Additionally,
since the books or papers the author has cited mostly have the terms leadership and
management incorporated in their title, hence the author felt that it was necessary to establish
the relationship between educational leadership and educational management. The author’s
conclusion is that these two educational fields are different in terms of context and style, but
each field does carry almost the same responsibility.

The task of educational leadership courses for Brunei Darussalam context is vital in order to
convince aspiring and experienced leaders that the power of one lies in the fact that they are
connected with many (Sullivan, 2003). In addition, to make the best impact to the school
community in Brunei, educational leaders should also follow the three practices (i.e., setting
directions, developing people and redesigning the organisation) set out by Leithwood et al.
(2004). The author is hopeful that the educational leadership programme in Brunei Darussalam
will be successful and that Bruneian educational leaders will sustain the educational system
through times of change.

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January 2014, Vol. 4, No. 1
ISSN: 2222-6990


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